A membrane inlet mass spectrometry system for noble gases at natural abundances in gas and water samples

Ate Visser, Michael J. Singleton, Darren J. Hillegonds, Carol A. Velsko, Jean E. Moran, Bradley K. Esser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rationale Noble gases dissolved in groundwater can reveal paleotemperatures, recharge conditions, and precise travel times. The collection and analysis of noble gas samples are cumbersome, involving noble gas purification, cryogenic separation and static mass spectrometry. A quicker and more efficient sample analysis method is required for introduced tracer studies and laboratory experiments. Methods A Noble Gas Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (NG-MIMS) system was developed to measure noble gases at natural abundances in gas and water samples. The NG-MIMS system consists of a membrane inlet, a dry-ice water trap, a carbon-dioxide trap, two getters, a gate valve, a turbomolecular pump and a quadrupole mass spectrometer equipped with an electron multiplier. Noble gases isotopes 4He, 22Ne, 38Ar, 84Kr and 132Xe are measured every 10 s. RESULTS The NG-MIMS system can reproduce measurements made on a traditional noble gas mass spectrometer system with precisions of 2%, 8%, 1%, 1% and 3% for He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe, respectively. Noble gas concentrations measured in an artificial recharge pond were used to monitor an introduced xenon tracer and to reconstruct temperature variations to within 2°C. Additional experiments demonstrated the capability to measure noble gases in gas and in water samples, in real time. CONCLUSIONS The NG-MIMS system is capable of providing analyses sufficiently accurate and precise for introduced noble gas tracers at managed aquifer recharge facilities, groundwater fingerprinting based on excess air and noble gas recharge temperature, and field and laboratory studies investigating ebullition and diffusive exchange.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2472-2482
Number of pages11
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Volume27
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Noble Gases
Mass spectrometry
Gases
Membranes
Water
Mass spectrometers
Groundwater
Dry Ice
Getters
Gas fuel purification
Electron multipliers
Electron tubes
Xenon
Ponds
Travel time
Aquifers
Carbon Dioxide
Isotopes
Cryogenics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

Visser, A., Singleton, M. J., Hillegonds, D. J., Velsko, C. A., Moran, J. E., & Esser, B. K. (2013). A membrane inlet mass spectrometry system for noble gases at natural abundances in gas and water samples. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 27(21), 2472-2482. https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.6704

A membrane inlet mass spectrometry system for noble gases at natural abundances in gas and water samples. / Visser, Ate; Singleton, Michael J.; Hillegonds, Darren J.; Velsko, Carol A.; Moran, Jean E.; Esser, Bradley K.

In: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 27, No. 21, 15.11.2013, p. 2472-2482.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Visser, A, Singleton, MJ, Hillegonds, DJ, Velsko, CA, Moran, JE & Esser, BK 2013, 'A membrane inlet mass spectrometry system for noble gases at natural abundances in gas and water samples', Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, vol. 27, no. 21, pp. 2472-2482. https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.6704
Visser, Ate ; Singleton, Michael J. ; Hillegonds, Darren J. ; Velsko, Carol A. ; Moran, Jean E. ; Esser, Bradley K. / A membrane inlet mass spectrometry system for noble gases at natural abundances in gas and water samples. In: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 2013 ; Vol. 27, No. 21. pp. 2472-2482.
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